What’s big around the belly, spreads joy across the sky and is surrounded by toys? Sure, the guy with the beard and the reindeer, but also Goodyear’s newest Pompano Beach airship, Wingfoot One.
The craft, built in 2013-2014 and technically not a blimp but a semi-rigid airship, arrived in its new South Florida home in October and will get a rare public display this weekend during the two-day Santa Claus Express Toy Drive, which benefits Toys for Tots.
From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, blimp fans will be able to drive their vehicles directly onto the base, located at 1500 NE Fifth Ave., in Pompano Beach. While there, visitors can check out the hangar, decked out in holiday lights, and get an up-close look at the 246-foot Wingfoot One, which is actually longer and slimmer than blimps of old and tops out at 73 mph (compared to 50 for the old generation).
“While we always love waving to folks from 1,000 feet in the air, there's nothing like seeing the blimp from up close on the ground, and this is one of the few times we have ever opened the base up to the public,” Goodyear spokesman Dan Smith says.
New unwrapped toys and donations will be accepted for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign, and fans can enter a drawing to win one of four rare certificates good for a flight aboard Wingfoot One.
For more information, call 954-946-8300 or visit GoodyearBlimp.com.
SCREEN ON THE GREEN
The film series on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront gets a special flourish Friday night with a double feature of the stop-motion TV special “Jack Frost” (6:30 p.m.) and Tim Allen’s “The Santa Clause” (8 p.m.). Get there at 5:30 to take part in the present-decorating party, in which kids (and parents) wrap themselves in boxes, paper and ribbons for the Present Parade at 7:15 p.m. Admission is free. Call 561-822-1515 or visit WPB.org/Events.
A family-friendly holiday stage production now in its third year, “Mouse King” follows the story of “The Nutcracker” from the mice’s point of view, with original music from South Florida rock-scene veteran Jim Camacho. Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Mandelstam Theater (8530 SW 57th Ave., Miami). Tickets: $20. Call 800-838-3006 or visit MouseKingTickets.com.
CHRISTMAS NEAR THE BEACH
Downtown Hollywood’s holiday-themed weekend gets going with free Funtastic Fridays festivities, 5-8 p.m. in the ArtsPark, an event that's always good for face-painted fun, but this week culminates in an 8 p.m. screening of the Jim Carrey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Call 954-921-3500 or go to VisitHollywoodFL.org. In the ArtsPark 4-9 p.m. Saturday, the ninth annual Christmas Near the Beach party brings a cornucopia of bands, choirs, ballet dancers, food, gift vendors and the big man himself, St. Nick. Admission is free. Visit ChristmasNearTheBeach.com.
MOVIE BY MOONLIGHT
The ever-popular Muppets offer their take on the Charles Dickens classic in “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” which gets an outdoor screening 7 p.m. Saturday in the Gosman Amphitheatre at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Admission to the film, featuring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, is $5 (which includes a free bag of popcorn). Picnic baskets, lawn chairs, blankets and nonalcoholic beverages are welcome. Call 800-572-8471 or visit Kravis.org.
JOY IN THE PARK
The annual Joy in the Park tree-lighting celebration on Saturday fills downtown Fort Lauderdale’s beautifully remodeled Joseph C. Carter Park (1450 W. Sunrise Blvd.) with live music, holiday crafts, prizes, a health fair and the lighting of the park’s holiday tree. The event is from 2 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit FortLauderdale.gov.
An afternoon of kids’ activities, face-painting and giveaways from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Delray Marketplace (9025 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach), Chanukah Candyland also includes a performance of “The Wade Henry Show,” starring a unicyclist and tightrope walker who has been known to juggle chainsaws with one hand. Kidding, kids. The event is sponsored by Chabad of West Boynton and West Lake Worth. Admission is free. Visit: Facebook.com/ChabadWest.
CHANUKAH FAIR ON LAS OLAS
The 15th annual festival brings carnival rides and games, vendors, a children’s choir, bounce houses, food (cotton candy counts) and drinks to Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Tickets for unlimited kids rides cost $15 advance, $20 at the fair. Call 954-667-8000 or visit DowntownJewish.com.
FAMILY DAY IN THE DESIGN DISTRICT
You’ve got an arty kid, so the Family Day festivities in the Moore Building (191 NE 40th St., Miami) on Sunday should be right up your alley. Hands-on gift making, holiday music from School of Rock, a performance by The Project [Theatre] and other entertainment and activities will be offered for free from 1 to 3 p.m., thanks to the Miami Design District and the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Visit ICAMiami.org.